I couldn't wait for you to ask. This might be one of the greatest stories in this young NBA season. 10 days ago Sundiata Gaines was in the D- League. For those of you don't know, the D-League is short for the Developmental League which is the minor league system for the NBA. Today Sundiata Gaines is a hero in Salt Lake City after hitting a buzzer beater to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers last nite. Gaines is no spring chicken, this kid can play. I heard from multiple sources that he was one of the best guards in the D league for the Idaho Stampede. His numbers confirm. He was top 5 in points at 23 a clip and Top 3 in assist and steals at 6.9 and 2.3 per game. Gaines played his college ball at Georgia where he was the MVP of the SEC tournament while avg 14.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.2 asst. as a senior.
As a former player you love to hear stories like this. I played in the minors and trust me its nothing to write home about. In the NBA you travel by charter flight, usually a team plane outfitted to accommodate the size and comfort needs of an NBA player. In the Minors you travel by Bus some trips as long 15 hours. In the NBA Per Diem is roughly $100 a day. In the Minors your per Diem is about $12 a day. In the NBA your team meal is closer to something Like Red Lobster. In the Minors your team meal is closer to something like Captain D's. A max NBA contract can be close to 140 million. A max minor league contract can be as much as $24,000 before taxes. You get my point. Gains weathered the storm and continued to play well earning a 2nd 10 day contract with the Utah Jazz which if he completes the team must sign him for the rest of the year. After last nites Heroics its safe to say that Utah will keep a guy like this around.
In last nites game Utah controlled the game most of the way until Lebron went into takeover mode and scored 10 of the first 12 points in the 4th quarter. It looked as if Clev was on their way to another win. stop it. Utah played the Free throw game and Clev missed a few in the closing seconds opening the door for a potential tie or gamewinner. In a broken final play Gaines got the last shot and calmly knocked down a 3 pointer at the buzzer to beat Cleveland. Who in the hell is Sundiatata Gaines? If you dont know, now you know.